→ Finding Posts
→ Apping: Why, Who, Abilities and PBs
→ Canon Updates
→ Canon NPCs
→ Activity Check: Requirements and Procedure
→ Content Warnings
→ Conflict Resolution
- I CAN'T FIND [INSERT POST HERE]!
We keep a Directory for all key posts, so if you can't find them anywhere else, for whatever reason, please check the directory! It is a sticky post on the bargemods account so it will always be at the top of the entry view there, as well as in the sidebars and profiles of the main comm, log comm, and ooc comms.
- Posting. How does it work?
The main method of communication will most likely be through each character's communicators, which are explained in greater detail below. They can be TEXT, VOICE, or VIDEO, and can be filtered as PUBLIC or any combination of private filters (wardens, inmates, infirmary, friends only, or private to specific people) depending upon your character's technological awareness. Journal entries can also include SPAM options for scenes that shift from network communication to action or are too minor to require an entire separate log.
Journal entries are 1st person, just like you would do a video blog or skype. Video and Voice can be done like an action entry, describing the character's voice, other sounds, actions, etc. These are posted in the lastvoyages community and don't need a header, but we ask that you please use the tag system to keep track of your character's journal. This is accomplished by entering your character's name in the tag field prior to posting an entry.
Logs are to be posted to the lastvoyageslogs community. In order to be easily accessible to other players, they should include the following header:
Logs are typically 3rd-person prose but they don't have to be. So, in a log you may say: Joe walked to the store. He nodded at the cashier and said, "Hello."
- I'm not interested in the premise, but I'd like to app to play with my friends/castmates/shipping partner.
One of the questions we ask on potential applications is whether your character is going to be involved in events like floods, ports, or player plots. While it's fine to apply to a game because your friends or castmates are here, you should still find something interesting about the setting as well. We try to tailor our events to what players wish to see, and having our players enthused about the premise will help to inspire character development and continue growing the game.
- What if I want to play a non-human character like a Transformer/Sonic the Hedgehog/Pikachu?
Any character is applicable as long as they are able to comfortably live in an environment designed for humans and fit into one of the two designation categories of Warden or Inmate.
- So, I wanted to app a country-- BUT THE COUNTRY IS PERSONIFIED AS AN ADORABLE LITTLE PERSON AND--
No. You cannot app a country personified as a person. Countries don't exactly fit into the setting.
- Can I app a real person?
In order to apply for a real person, they 1) need to come from a fictionalized source AND 2) need to be far enough removed from our contemporary society that playing them will not generate problems with other players. Most people are fine when it comes to the idea of redeeming a fictional villain (and if they weren't, they probably wouldn't be in this game), but are more uncomfortable when the premise is applied to a real mass murderer.
So, for example, you can apply for Shakespeare's Richard III or Chaucer from A Knight's Tale, but you cannot apply for Richard III or Chaucer, the historical figures. The big reason for this is we need a canon source to refer to for characterization purposes. Also, not having a fictional/canon source veers too close to Real Person RP, and this is not something that The Last Voyages would accept as a viable character.
When it comes to controversial and contemporary figures (particularly those of the 20th and 21st century), we will be much more strict. You may not app Jeffrey Dahmer as seen in Dahmer, nor can you app Hitler from one of the billion films he shows up in. These people are not far enough removed from contemporary society to work in this game setting. What you can do is find a fictional character who has similar characteristics to those that you want to play out in this historical person.
If you're thinking of a historical person and you're not quite sure if they work? Ask a moderator or the post to the potential apps discussion entry!
- Can I app a god?
Gods will be considered on the basis that their powers are limited in such a way that they would not break the game and that they also come from a source material. Whether it's an ancient play or recently published modern interpretation, they must have a source material to draw their personality and history from for an application. A personal interpretation of a god is not acceptable.
- Can I app a vampire? Will they burn up on the deck/die in ports/be able to feed?
Yes, but you have to bear in mind that they aren't special undead citizens and should treat them like any other character in the application process. If they're an inmate, they need to be limited the same as any other inmate: as in, they cannot be overpowered, unstoppable killing machines. Human characters need to be able to stand a chance at beating them.
We know that some vampires are essentially gods in their canons and that you want to stay true to the character, so think of weaknesses to offset them if certain traits are too much a part of the personality.
As for feeding, there are blood rations along with the food. Vampires can get their rations daily at the dining hall. Nobody knows the source of the blood, beyond the Admiral, but it tastes just like human blood, so please don't have your vampire running around insisting that it tastes different, unless your character is just lying or being a finicky jerk.
As for ports and sunlight? It depends on the port and the vampire's own strengths and weaknesses as determined by their canon. Some can survive sunlight and others can't. Some ports have sunlight that burns, some have sunlight that doesn't affect vampires at all, and others just plain have no sun. Proposals for ports will usually include something about whether the reality in question will affect them and if the ship will be giving them some sort of protective measures. For some, there might not be and the writers of any vampires will have to remember to only have their character out after the sun has set!
Also, please bear in mind that there is 'sunlight' on the deck during daytime hours. It isn't real, though, and your vampire won't be affected by it, although they may not like it on principle. The CES is a different matter: the simulated sunlight there IS real enough to cause harm to those sensitive to it (or to give a small boost to those that gain power from it), so be careful.
- Why do I have to weaken my character's abilities?
Because wardens must be able to stand a chance of managing their inmates in order to carry out the game premise. In the case of wardens they must not be capable of overriding the Barge construct or the Admiral's control over it in order for the game to work.
- My character has cybernetic/robotic parts. How does that work when they're brought in?
As with any other type of character, their abilities must be restricted to suit the Barge environment. This may mean certain abilities are limited or dampened, and they may cease to function at all.
Please note that these characters are the exception and not the rule. They are handled on a case by case basis.
- Can my character receive non-canon abilities upon arrival?
- What about canonical illnesses?
As time does not pass aboard the Barge - that is, characters do not physically age - most diseases or illnesses will cease to have an effect on the character while they are on board the Barge. This is to make it easier on an OOC level for players that want to play a character that canonically has an expiration date without including said expiration date; if you want to play around with the illness in question (cancer, radiation, mystery illness du jour, virus) within the setting, there are opportunities when the character is outside the influence of the Barge such as during ports and such, or something can be worked out at the discretion of the current moderating team. Just ask!
- Multiple PBs, how does that work?
If two folks play characters by the same actor, others may notice a resemblance or think they're brothers/each other/Barge Twins/etc. We do not prohibit characters with the same PB. However, if you play somebody without a canon PB (like a book character) and see a PB already taken by a canon character? Then it's recommended you find another for your character, unless this guy is just absolutely 100% how you envisioned them, and nobody else works.
- Canon Update: how do?
So, you decided you want to change your character's pull point or the canon has given you more to work with that you want to add. TLV does allow canon updates either forward or backward for the same character. There are multiple ways to handle this and for this to manifest and ultimately, these decisions are at the discretion of the player to allow you and your castmates to get the most enjoyment out of the game possible. At present there is no limit or real regulation for the process of a canon update beyond that the canon info being added must be at least 30 days past release, but if a single character has been updated multiple times within a short period, however, the moderators may take an interest on the behalf of the other characters and players in the game.
Your character may disappear completely from the Barge and return with their new canon information; they may disappear but their cabin door remains and they return with new canon information but no Barge memories. Their memories may gradually return, or very specific ones may not; they may be gone for a couple hours on the Barge and a couple years back home, or they may only be at home for a few hours and come back a week later on the Barge. Wardens may choose to go home and come back with more information than they intended to; Inmates cannot leave at will, but may or may not have any memory of actually having gone. The point here is that the sky is the limit for whatever works best for your character and needs and still fits the game premise. Be sure to talk to your close CR beforehand and post to the OOC community letting other players know what's going on, and if you have any doubts or questions, feel free to contact a moderator.
If the canon update will so radically change the character that a change in status (Warden or Inmate) is required, you will need to re-apply and be approved again for the character. This may be done before the canon update is put into action.
- What are Canon NPCs?
Because the ports and breaches that the Barge visits are often canon worlds of characters already or previously in game, and because they are often suggested by players who love them, we've decided to allow a Canon NPC signup for these events unless stated otherwise for plot purposes.
What this means is that on the plotting posts there will be a signup thread for those who are familiar with the canons and, for the event only, would like to play a canon character from one as an NPC in the port or breach world. If this is a character that has been on board the Barge and left, the character in the event will not remember the Barge or CR they had while there, even if they are played by the same player. Additionally, these tags will NOT count towards AC for the player as this is entirely voluntary - they are just for fun, to voice test, and to enrich the environment for other players and characters. The signup thread will be to facilitate both other players knowing who this random journal/character is tagging them, so there are no duplicates, and to allow for plotting. Canon NPC characters will not be bound by the usual game rules (age and species/medium/etc.), and no canon OCs will be allowed. There will be a limit of one canon NPC per player. We ask that players all respect one another's preferences in the event another player would not like their character tagged by a canon NPC, and of course we encourage that your own game characters receive the bulk of your attention, but we figure this is a good way to enrich the TLV experience for everyone if players wish to utilize it.
But wait, there's more! Should you find yourself enjoying playing a canon NPC and decide to app them into the game properly, we will still require an application approval process, but we will allow them to come directly from the port or the breach - as if they've merely joined the Barge when it left the city, or when the rest of that reality faded away as appropriate. Mechanics wise (death for inmates, deals for wardens), nothing else will change, but this is another option going forward for those who might wish to use it.
- What are the rules for activity requirements?
In order to meet monthly activity requirements, you must have at least two of any of the following: a journal entry, a log, or a thread consisting of 15+ comments made BY YOUR CHARACTER in another entry. If a player can also show substantial activity in multiple entries (not necessarily in one 15+ comment thread), it will count towards their activity for a month on a case by case basis. An IC inbox thread can count for one activity proof (half of standard activity), as long as it consists of 15+ comments made by your character. All comments must be in the month the activity check is for.
However, private posts and logs (as in, posts/logs that consist entirely of a private message/interaction either of your character talking to themselves or to one other character that do not reach the 15+ comment count) and posts to the Admiral will not count towards your activity. Posts that you put up and then ignore all or most of the tags to also do not count towards activity. So, for example, if you put up a log in order to meet activity and then fail to respond to your own log, that log won't count. It won't count if you tag once or twice, either: our activity checks are about making sure that players are enriching the community rather than just strict comment counting, and character development can't happen with one tag per post per month.
If you've been on hiatus for 7+ days in a calendar month (so, not 7+ days in a 30 day period, but: 7+ days in the month of January/February/etc), you are exempt from that month's Activity Check. We keep all hiatuses up on the hiatus post for the duration of the month in order to keep track of who's exempt. If your hiatus straddles a month and you intend to use the hiatus for activity for one month, make sure that the hiatus covers at least 7 days of that month. (For example, if you are hiatusing January into February and want to use the hiatus in January, make sure that you have hiatused at least from January 25th on. A hiatus from January 25th - February 4th will allow you to use your hiatus for January's activity check.)
You may not hiatus out of two Activity Checks in a row. If you feel you are experiencing special circumstances that mean you will have to hiatus for longer than one month, please contact the mods and we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis. If you have hiatused one month and find coming back the next month to be rougher than you expected, you are welcome to reclaim for ONE activity check (see below for details about reclaiming). You may not repeatedly hiatus and reclaim your characters over a period of several months.
Real life happens, and we're aware of this. We will be more lenient with players who are typically reliable or active, and particularly those who reach out to us. However, if there have already been concerns raised about your activity, we will be more strict in judging activity.
- How do you check for activity?
Currently, the moderators will post an Activity Check post on the first of every month for the previous month. You are required to post your own activity proof for each character to this post within seven days, so keep track of your threads!
- But I failed Activity Check for this month and was not on hiatus!
It's okay! If something comes up and you are unable to meet activity requirements for the month you may reclaim your character. This means you will need three instead of two proofs of activity for the oncoming month in order to continue to claim your character as active for this game. If you fail activity check the month after reclaiming a character, then we will consider that character to be dropped.
- I need to go on hiatus. How do I do it?
If it's a short hiatus, just post it to the OOC community. If it's going to be a full hiatus of 7+ consecutive days, post it to the Hiatus Post. Please note that if you go on a 7+ day hiatus and fail to post it to the hiatus post, you will not be exempt from Activity Check.
- I need to drop the game. How do I do it?
Just go to the Drop Post and fill out the form. It's also best to post your drop to the OOC community so your fellow players know. You're welcome to come back any time as long as you are in good standing with the game in general, but you will have to re-apply for your character.
If you've decided to drop from the game, PLEASE use the Drop Post. Idling out is annoying and inconsiderate, both for your fellow players (especially whoever your warden/inmate is paired with) who may be relying on your character and for others who'd want to app your character but have to wait for the mods to drop you before they can. We understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, but this is part of being a responsible roleplay partner. If you idle out without a word or an explanation, we may be less inclined to re-admit you into the game.
- What content is appropriate for TLV and how should I handle it?
Content must be marked clearly to the best of your ability with a warning and locked to the community if it is explicit. Use your best judgement when deciding what needs a warning, but if you have questions, the mods are available to answer.
Do not enter into logs or entries that you know will involve this kind of material if you feel going in that it may strongly affect you emotionally or psychologically. If it is necessary for your character's development and it may still affect you? Opt to fade to black and assume what happened, or try to look for something else as an alternative.
Finally, sometimes players may come into IC situations that retroactively they may realize they find affects or triggers them. It happens to everyone. How these situations are handled will be determined on a case by case basis between the players involved and in more trying cases the mods as well.
- I have an idea for a plot. Do I have to take it to the mods?
Mod approval's only needed for plots that would affect a large group (or the game's community as a whole) or would leave an impact on the Barge. Also, if your plot stretches the boundaries of what's been established as the Barge, it would be best to ask a mod, just to clarify if what you're planning WOULD work.
We enjoy and encourage player-run plots, though, so don't hesitate to bring a plot idea to us! Unless it's a HUGE plot or raises a lot of questions from the mods, you should get approval pretty quickly.
For any plot, big and small, you should post it to the OOC Community, so that all of your fellow players are up to speed on it. Even if you don't consider it, it may actually affect some more than you'd think, so it's good to keep everybody on the same page. We even have a handy "plot" tag for you to use!
Also, please refer to the Events Calendar to make sure your plot doesn't overlap with another.
- What's godmodding?
Godmodding involves giving your characters random advantages and/or crazy maneuvers to ensure they win/avoid dying/whatever. This can involve a lot of things, such as randomly defying physics to dodge an attack that they shouldn't be able to dodge, taking a hit that should hurt them but doesn't phase them in the least, moving or manipulating or doing harm to another player's character without their permission, and giving your character abilities/powers/immunities that are not posted in your original application. This last one is important, especially for Inmates, since we expect their abilities to be significantly hindered and have to approve whatever it is you put down that they can still do in the app process.
Accidents happen, and sometimes people slip up and godmod without realizing it. That's fine, but if you make a habit of it, accident or not, you will be warned. Your character should not be an unstoppable ubermensch; such self-indulgence isn't fun for anybody.
- And what's metagaming/info-modding?
Metagaming/info-modding is having your character aware of things they should not know. This includes tailoring their reactions to a character because you, the player, know the other character is lying, despite your own character not having this knowledge. This also includes having your sheltered hermit somehow know all kinds of pop culture references.
There is some give or take in fourth wall issues. Some characters here will inevitably come from fictional places according to other people. That's fine. We have a Permissions post post so that you can check and see which characters are open to it and which aren't. Here's where it's not okay though: if your character has no reason to know it, they don't know it.
The Library is not an excuse for metagaming. And it does not contain anything more than books (and books related to characters disappear when the character enters the game). No comics, graphic novels, video games or DVDs are in the library.
- I don't like this plot. Or that plot. Or that other plot.
You don't have to like or participate in every plot, but neither can you sit around and pretend that game-wide plots somehow don't affect your character. It is extremely rude and inconsiderate to other players, who work hard to craft inclusive plots, to pretend it doesn't affect your character just because you don't like it.
If you feel like the plots aren't your play-style, or aren't inclusive enough, try offering some helpful feedback, either to the players or to the mods as to what you'd like to see in the future. On the mods' side, we run a player poll about four times a year in order to ask players their opinions on how plots are going and tailor the game to suit their wants and needs. Please do NOT harass other players or harp on them because their plot isn't to your liking.
Also, there are some plots that are mandatory, and you will receive a warning if you try to rain all over the plot or force your character out of it in a transparently OOC manner. Again: small setting, small community. We find that while it's not necessary to pull game-wide plots all the time, these kinds of plots are integral to the Barge's premise. If there's a game-wide plot that you absolutely do not want to play, please consider hiatusing your character for it. We will also try to include opt-out options wherever possible in order to help facilitate the occasional plot you don't gel with.
- How does TLV handle conflict resolution between players?
First and foremost, all players are equally responsible for opening and maintaining consistent communication with moderators and their fellow players. Whether it is for plotting and OOC coordination or the resolution of problems, communication is held in high regard here. Everyone here is an adult and is expected to behave like one. If there is a problem, attempt to address it with the people involved. If discussion yields no results or degenerates into unfriendly behavior, involve a moderator. It is strongly recommended that you have a Plurk account, as this will be the primary mode of communication for most players within the game and is the fastest way to get in contact with a moderator.
OOC harassment of other players by players will not be tolerated. TLV has a very low tolerance for drama. You don't have to like each other, but you should try to be respectful to one another both in game and out of game. If you, in attempting to resolve an issue with another player, have pushed them to the point that they are unwilling to communicate with you and become upset when you try, it is past the time to involve a mod. Sometimes this might ultimately mean not interacting with one another if you can manage it.
The FAQ will be updated as questions arise. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, feel free to comment, and we'll get back to you ASAP!
Last updated: 09/08/2016